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Iroquois School voters reject capital project

A proposal for the largest capital project in the history of Iroquois Central School District went down to defeat Tuesday, with 60 percent of votes cast against the project.

Business manager Douglas Scofield said the $49.6 million spending plan, had it been approved, would have addressed needs in all six of the district buildings.

The proposal was presented to voters in two propositions:

* $39 million in capital improvements - rejected, 1,035 to 693.

* 10.6 million projects and doable only if the first proposition had been approved - rejected, 1,101-622.

"We're very glad of the large turnout because we like to get input from our residents. But we believe the results were impacted by the economic times," Scofield said.

In the wake of the defeat, the business manager said district officials will have to meet to discuss what to do next. Some of the repair and maintenance items are mandated by the state or need to be done, he said. Officials noted it has been eight or nine years since the school district of about 3,000 students has seen any large-scale capital renovations completed on its buildings.

In recent weeks, the district has orchestrated an information blitz, urging residents to embrace the massive project.

The district held more than a dozen information sessions at the school and around the community, established an information hotline on its telephone system and addressed the issue on its Web page.

According to district officials, 95 percent of the project would have received state aid, at a level of 71 percent funding.

The project called for the addition of a science and music wing at the high school, replacing asbestos tiles at the intermediate school and kitchen equipment at the middle school and improvements and renovations to the district's elementary buildings, as well.

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